austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Happy little day, Jimmy went away, met his little Jenny on a public holiday

Since we joined the Lansing pinball league we've been playing a lot of pinball, at home and in evening visits over to the hipster bar where the league's held. And we've made trips to Marvin's and to the Ann Arbor Pinball Museum. But it hasn't been quite enough, particularly as bunny_hugger has been in that exciting state of fandom of falling in love with a new thing and getting all wrapped up in wanting to do more of it.

So she'd got looking to other tolerably local pinball leagues, and it turns out that the lower peninsula is apparently some kind of center of major pinball league growth. There were, last I heard, six in the state --- New Jersey has but two --- and growing; three of them are newer than our league, which is itself not quite a year old. She looked seriously at one in Flint, about an hour away, which has some of the state's and nation's top players in it, as she was interested to see some of the other top players. We have one in our league, who's just a different order of magnitude of player from the rest of us; as far as we can tell he's in every pinball league in the state, possibly in every state, and has some kind of zoo career, meaning that he's the second person I ever met to know what a coati was before I met them (bunny_hugger was the first). Indeed, last league night, he asked me about why coatis, and I was flabbergasted. bunny_hugger and I can't figure how he knows anything about me and coatis; she didn't mention it to him on the league Facebook page and I happen not to have a Facebook account myself.

Anyway, the point of that mystery is that when bunny_hugger mentioned her interest in the Flint league, he gently warned her off of it, on the grounds that the players were so serious that it wouldn't be a good competitive environment for her. (I suspect it wouldn't be good for me, either; I'm a decent player but haven't got championship-level skills.) He suggested a different one, one that meets monthly in Brighton, which happens to be where the Ann Arbor Pinball Museum is, although it doesn't meet at the museum. It meets at a different Brighton-area place with dozens upon dozens of pinball machines. Go figure.

Another anomaly: while Brighton is in the outskirts of Ann Arbor, and pinball is a hip and upcoming activity of exactly the sort that Ann Arborites should love, they haven't got a league in town. Maybe the Detroit and the Brighton leagues are close and big enough to overwhelm an in-town project.

Trivia: In 1866 a baseball team from Pecatonica, Illinois, lost its first and only game by a score of 49-1 to Rockford, Illinois, in a major tournament. The legend of this loss was told and retold for decades, including in an 1878 New York World account that added the detail of a farmer betting loads of hay and a calf on Pecatonica; an 1896 New York Times account that put the loss at 121-0 and to the Red Stockings of Cincinatti; and a 1914 Finley Peter Dunne piece that put the score at 208-0 (Forest City winning). Source: But Didn't We Have Fun? An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneer Era, 1843 - 1870, Peter Morris.

Currently Reading: To Touch The Face Of God: The Sacred, The Profane, and the American Space Program, 1957 - 1975, Kendrick Oliver.

PS: Reading the Comics, June 4, 2014: Intro Algebra Edition, a fresh round of mathematics comics.


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